Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have extended their shutdowns through June 11.
In statements Thursday, both cruise companies cited the public health circumstances around the coronavirus pandemic for the increased suspension of sailing.
“We are facing truly unprecedented times as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have unexpected consequences,” the Celebrity Cruises statement, posted on the company’s official Twitter page, stated.
“We are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience,” Royal Caribbean said on its website. “We expect to return to service on June 12.”
We are facing truly unprecedented times as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have unexpected consequences on our communities and businesses. We are extending the suspension of global operations for all sailings departing on-or-before June 11th, 2020 https://t.co/RtZQmVw3Ah pic.twitter.com/PZExdyVTcv
— Celebrity Cruises (@CelebrityCruise) April 17, 2020
Neither suspension is as long as those implemented by competing cruise companies. Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have extended sailing suspensions through late June.
Carnival said Monday it would extend its cancellation period through June 27. On Tuesday, Holland America and Princess said it would do so through June 30.
Holland America has also cancelled all of its Alaska journeys for summer 2020 and all of its “Land+Sea Journeys,” which consist of an Alaska cruise plus a land-based tour to Denali and the Yukon, according to the line’s announcement posted to their blog.
The cruise industry has been shut down for a month, with . hundreds of cruise ship passengers and crew members contracting the coronavirus as the pandemic swept the world; dozens have died. Other passengers were left stranded thousands of miles from home port and faced logistical difficulties getting home as travel options dwindled.
“This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess, said in a statement Tuesday.
“These are unprecedented times. Having to delay summer cruising and cancel our land tours for the entire season is the responsible thing to do, yet also very disappointing and a first in our more than 70 years of taking guests to Alaska,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, in their announcement.
Though Carnival’s announcement anticipates that it will be able to sail again by the end of June, Vance Gulliksen, a company spokesman, said it would adjust its plans according to the circumstances.
“We are continuing our discussions with federal officials, including the CDC,” Gulliksen said. “If we are required to extend the pause into July, we will notify our guests.”
Holland America said that it too will be “assessing the future impact of the order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for cruises through mid-July.”
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruise ships. On Friday, the CDC extended the order for 100 days, unless one of two things happens first.
Either the CDC director would have to rescind the no-sail order “based on specific public health or other considerations,” or the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s declaration of a public health emergency would have to expire.
USA TODAY reported on Monday that the White House Coronavirus Task Force pressured the CDC to ease its proposal to extend the no-sail order for 120 days, or into August. The CDC cut the duration to 100 days, which would end in late July.
Carnival specified Tuesday that its plan to resume sailing in June does not apply to the company’s affiliates, which include Princess Cruises.
Ships owned by the cruise line became hot spots for the coronavirus, including the Diamond Princess, Grand Princess, Ruby Princess and Coral Princess.
Contributing: Morgan Hines
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity suspended cruises through June 11